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Ballistic Helmets


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Learn More About Tactical Helmets

What is a Ballistic Helmet?

A ballistic helmet, often referred to as a tactical helmet, is a specialized piece of personal protective equipment (also called protective headgear) designed to shield the wearer from ballistic threats. These helmets are crafted with a combination of a sturdy exterior shell, multiple layers of hard plastic, and a cushioned foam inner lining.

Key features of a ballistic helmet include:

  • Protection Rating: Meeting up to the 3A NIJ Standard, these helmets can defend against most handgun rounds, which often travel at speeds of around 1,200 feet per second. Specially designed tactical helmets can stop 9mm and 44 Magnum.
  • Shrapnel Defense: Beyond bullets, combat helmets are also engineered to guard against shrapnel from explosions or other combat situations.
  • Injury Prevention: By providing a robust barrier, the helmets aim to reduce the risk of traumatic brain injuries and other grave head traumas in volatile environments. Please note however that bulletproof helmets and bump helmets are different: bump helmet do not provide ballistic protection but does provide blunt impact protection.

What type of material is a tactical helmet made out of?

Tactical helmets, commonly referred to as bulletproof helmets, primarily utilize Aramid fiber, a substance renowned for its strength and bullet-stopping capability. When engineered properly, this material creates a lightweight solution and offers robust protection against handgun ammunition.

Key features of the materials used in a tactical helmet include:

  • Aramid Fiber Composition: Aramid fibers, when spun together, result in an extremely strong thread. By weaving these threads, manufacturers produce a lightweight yet formidable material tailored for bullet resistance.
  • Shell Design & Purpose: The shell’s primary function is to deform upon bullet impact, absorbing and dispersing the energy. This design ensures the shell remains intact without fragmenting, thereby preventing potential brain injuries.
  • Internal Liner: This reinforcement layer enhances the helmet’s structural integrity, allowing it to bear severe impacts without shattering. Like the outer shell, the liner is designed to deform upon impact but remains unfragmented, offering an additional layer of protection.

Can ballistic helmet stop a bullet?

Yes, a ballistic helmet can stop a bullet.

Ballistic helmets are specially engineered to provide protection against a variety of bullets, depending on their rating and construction. The shell of the helmet undergoes rigorous testing and is rated based on established standards, such as the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) standards. For instance:

  • NIJ Level IIIA: This rating typically ensures protection against handgun rounds, including bullets from weapons like the 9mm and .44 Magnum.
  • NIJ Level III: Helmets with this rating are designed to withstand even higher velocities and are capable of stopping rifle rounds, including the 7.62x51mm round.

It’s essential to note that the actual performance of a ballistic helmet can vary based on factors such as the angle of impact, the distance from which the bullet is fired, and the specific design and materials of the helmet.

For a comprehensive understanding of a helmet’s capabilities, check our blog article on what should a ballistic helmet protect from.


What is the best ballistic helmet?

Selecting the optimal ballistic helmet requires a keen understanding of its intended use, features, and the balance between protection and comfort. Here are some key considerations to keep in mind:

  • Accessory Compatibility: Ensure that the helmet can be easily accessorized, especially with vital equipment like night vision goggles. Some helmets are designed with an integrated rail system, allowing users to attach a variety of tools, lights, or equipment.
  • Fit and Comfort: The fit of the helmet is paramount. A helmet that is too tight can lead to discomfort and headaches, while a loose-fitting helmet might compromise protection. Always prioritize a snug and comfortable fit.
  • Budget Considerations: High-quality materials and enhanced protective features can increase the cost of a helmet. It’s crucial to find a balance between quality and affordability, always considering available sales or discounts.

There are several recommended types of ballistic helmets, each with unique features and benefits:

  • High Cut Ballistic Helmet: Provides a lighter-weight design with more exposure, allowing for better compatibility with communication devices and headphones. This model has been designed with military and law enforcement in mind.
  • MICH Bulletproof Helmet (Modular Integrated Communications Helmet): Replaced the ACH Helmets and it favored by the military, this helmet offers superior protection from ballistic threats and boasts improved comfort due to the inclusion of comfort pads. Its modular design allows for increased versatility and adaptability in various combat situations.
  • PASGT Helmet (Personnel Armor System for Ground Troops): A traditional design used by many military forces, offering reliable protection with a more encompassing fit.
  • MICH Combat Helmets – Level IIIA helmet with full cut design for ear protection. Additionally comes with side rails and NVG mounts (same as other helmets)

Whichever helmet you opt for, its purpose and specifications should align with your requirements. Remember to thoroughly research and understand each type’s features and benefits before finalizing your purchase. Our blog article will help you to answer your questions about ballistic helmet types and configurations.


Can civilians own ballistic helmets?

Yes, in most jurisdictions within the United States, civilians can legally purchase and wear ballistic helmets and tactical helmets. However, there are essential points to consider:

Key Points to Understand:

  • State Regulations: Each state has its distinct body armor laws, commonly referred to as “body armor laws.” These regulations dictate who can purchase, own, and wear ballistic protection equipment like helmets.
  • Convicted Felons: In general, across most states, it’s prohibited for convicted felons to own or wear body armor, including ballistic helmets.
  • Occupation Irrelevant: Contrary to popular belief, body armor laws typically do not distinguish between civilians, law enforcement officers (LEOs), security personnel, or any other occupations. The right to own and wear body armor is typically a matter of legal status, not professional status. Many military and law enforcement officers wear ballistic helmets and tactical helmets as a part of their duty.
  • Licensing Myths: Some assume that only individuals with a License to Carry (LTC) or law enforcement officials can legally own ballistic helmets. This is a misconception. While certain licenses might enable possession of other types of protective or defensive gear, they’re usually not a prerequisite for owning ballistic helmets.
  • Local Sheriff Consultation: It’s always a prudent step to consult with your local county Sheriff’s office for specific and up-to-date information on body armor laws in your area. They can provide clarity on any local regulations or restrictions you might need to be aware of.

In conclusion, while it’s generally legal for civilians to own ballistic helmets, understanding the nuances of local and state laws is critical. Always make an informed decision by checking with local authorities or legal experts. Please refer also to our blog article where we explain in details all important questions about who wears ballistic helmet or tactical helmet.


Do ballistic helmets expire?

Ballistic helmets, much like other personal protective equipment, have a lifespan determined by a multitude of factors. The durability and protective capability of a helmet can degrade over time due to various reasons.

Ace Link Armor Helmet Specifications:

  • Warranty: Ace Link Armor helmets come with a 5-year manufacturer’s warranty. During this period, the ballistic protection of the helmet is guaranteed.

Factors Affecting Helmet Service Life:

  • Ballistic Material: The type and grade of the material used in the helmet’s construction play a crucial role in determining its lifespan.
  • Material Condition: Scratches, cracks, or any signs of aging in the ballistic material, especially if the helmet has been stored for extended periods, can compromise its integrity.
  • Environmental Exposure: Prolonged exposure to varying weather conditions, such as extreme temperatures or humidity, can accelerate the wear and tear process.
  • Physical Misuse: Accidental drops, impacts, or other forms of misuse can adversely affect the helmet’s protective capabilities.

Best Practices:

  • Proper Care: Ensure that your helmet is stored as per the manufacturer’s guidelines. A well-maintained helmet can significantly prolong its effective service life.
  • Regular Inspection: Before using your tactical helmet, always inspect it for visible damage or signs of wear. Check the exterior for cracks or dents, and ensure the inner pads remain firmly attached to the shell.
  • Quality Matters: Investing in top-notch gear is crucial. Once procured, familiarize yourself with its proper usage and regularly check its condition to ensure it functions as intended.

In conclusion, while tactical helmets are designed to offer robust protection, their efficiency is influenced by various factors. Always remain vigilant about the condition of your protective gear, and when in doubt, consult with experts or the manufacturer.


Does dropping a ballistic helmet ruin it?

Ballistic helmets, crafted for rigorous combat scenarios, are designed with resilience in mind as the military helmets should be. The question of a helmet’s integrity after a drop has been a topic of debate. Here’s a comprehensive analysis from a military expert’s standpoint:

Aramid Fibers and Drops: There’s a common misconception that dropping a helmet might damage its aramid fibers, diminishing its ballistic performance. While aramid fibers are sensitive, they are integrated into helmets to withstand substantial force. A drop, especially from waist height (common in scenarios like urban operations), is unlikely to jeopardize the fibers’ protective capabilities.

Key Considerations:

  • Nature of Impact: Bulletproof helmets are designed to endure powerful impacts, much more forceful than a mere drop. However, the nature and angle of the impact, combined with the surface it hits, can vary the potential damage.
  • Lack of Empirical Evidence: While this topic remains widely discussed, there hasn’t been any conclusive testing to verify the impact of drops on helmets’ ballistic performance.
  • Height Matters: While a waist-height drop might not severely compromise the helmet, falls from significantly greater heights could. The higher the drop, the greater the potential for damage.

Best Practices:

  • Regular Inspection: Post any impact, minor or major, and always inspect your tactical helmet. Look for visible cracks, dents, or any deformation.
  • Avoid Forceful Drops on Rough Surfaces: Dropping a helmet with substantial force on rough or hard terrains could induce what’s known as ‘back face deformation’. This deformation could potentially weaken the helmet’s structure and damage its internal components.

In summation, while ballistic helmets are robustly designed for protection, they aren’t invincible. Tactical helmets care and regular inspections are paramount to ensure their longevity and effectiveness.


Is it worth getting a ballistic helmet?

The decision to acquire a ballistic helmet depends on multiple factors, including the intended use, the level of threat one might encounter, and the budget considerations. If you’re pondering over the worthiness of a ballistic helmet, here’s a comprehensive analysis from a military expert perspective:

  1. Intended Use:
    • Military & Law Enforcement: For personnel routinely exposed to combat scenarios, ballistic helmets are essential. They provide protection from ballistic threats, shrapnel, and other airborne hazards.
    • Civilian Usage: Civilians might consider a ballistic helmet for specific scenarios such as personal protection during civil unrest, security jobs, or even recreational shooting.
  2. Protection Levels:
    • Varied Threat Levels: Ballistic helmets, especially Level IIIA helmets, are designed to protect against handgun rounds and fragmentation. If you expect to encounter such threats, a ballistic helmet is invaluable.
    • Added Accessories: Many modern helmets come with rails for accessories, NVG mounts, and other modular features. If there’s a need to integrate communications, night vision, or other tools, a tactical helmet becomes worthwhile.



Is there a level 4 ballistic helmet?

Understanding the specifications and classifications set by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), the primary U.S. body for establishing standards in body armor, is crucial when assessing the effectiveness of ballistic protection. Here’s a detailed breakdown:

NIJ Ballistic Levels for Helmets:

  • Level IIIA Helmet: This is the peak standard for ballistic helmets. Helmets rated at this level, often referred to as “IIIA helmets,” are tested rigorously to halt projectiles from firearms such as 9mm handguns and .44 Magnum revolvers. For many professionals, the IIIA helmet offers the ultimate protection within the current scope of helmet technology.
  • Level IV (4): The NIJ does have a Level IV categorization, but this applies strictly to hard armor plates. These plates are tailored to stop armor-piercing bullets and are distinctively used in plate carriers, not helmets.
  • No Level IV Helmet: At present, no helmet, including the IIIA helmet, meets the Level IV standard, meaning no helmet is ratified to obstruct armor-piercing rounds in the way a Level IV plate can.

Evolving Defense Solutions:

  • Future Shell Technology: The defense sector is persistently advancing, and with the introduction of future assault shell technology, we might soon witness even more robust helmet designs.
  • Always Validate Protection Claims: While continuous innovation aims to achieve the ultimate protection, it remains essential to ensure any protective equipment aligns with recognized standards.

In sum, even with innovations on the horizon like future assault shell technology, the highest current level of bulletproof helmet is the IIIA helmet. Make informed decisions and remain critical when assessing protection equipment’s promises.